Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix Tearing Through City Streets for 26th Year

The 26th running of the Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix, the world’s largest karting street race, this year will feature 17 racing classes. Admission is free to this family-oriented event. This year the focus has been on creating other things to do downtown beyond just enjoying the races.

Racing is schedule for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day with morning practice and afternoon qualifying heat races on Saturday, followed by practice, opening ceremonies and 17 feature races Sunday. Joining the historic King of the Streets race, one of the most iconic races in karting, will be a King of the Rock race for 100cc engines and for the Briggs & Stratton 206cc engine. Vintage karts from prior to 1985 are also being featured again this year.

“With Corona Virus fears lurking in the back of everyone’s mind, the Grand Prix is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday weekend,” said Roger Ruthhart of the Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix. “We have both sides of the street, over 8 city blocks, where people can spread out with their lawn chairs and popup canopies, and most of our additional activities are outside too. There is something for the entire family.”

On-street parking is limited due to the race course so fans are encouraged to park either in the city parking garage or the Modern Woodmen parking lot on the south side of First Avenue across from Schwiebert Park. Another option is parking in the neighborhoods south of Fifth Avenue and entering the race area on 19th Street by the Rock Island Library.

One big change this year is the announcing team. In an effort to bring more excitement and energy to the race, the Grand Prix has added the local team of Jay Kidwell, sports director at WHBF-TV, and Carter Pease, a former local kart racer who has moved on to racing cars. The entire downtown will again be wired for sound and race fans can expect more information, more explanations, great interviews and lively banter from the team. When there is a lull, deejay Johnathan Condit will keep things lively with high energy music.

SHARK WARNING: The weekend’s fun officially kicks off Thursday night when the Rock Island Parks & Rec Department sponsored concert in Schwiebert Park by Phyllis & The Sharks at 7 p.m.

On Friday crews will be busy setting up the track and moving race teams into the pits with practices starting Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

RADAR LOVE: The Quad City Storm will have an area in the infield where you can find out more about the local professional hockey team, its upcoming season, tickets, and have Shoot The Puck fun, all under the careful eye of the team mascot, Radar, who will also participate in Opening Ceremonies Sunday. Jumpin’ Joeys will also have bounce houses in the infield area.

MILLER TIME: There will be a number of food vendors in the infield area, as well as at Third Ave. and 18th Street. Miller beer stands will also be available at both locations run by Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Bar.

RVing IN AMERICA: The TV series “RVing in America” will be shooting a future segment for the series at this year’s Grand Prix, illustrating how RVs have a working role in motorsports and aren’t just for fun and travel convenience.

PARTY TIME: Saturday night the Grand Prix is partnering with Billy Bob’s Redneck Party Bar on Second Avenue for an End of Summer Blowout, featuring Scott DuBose and the 101 Ranch party band from Chicago plus many other activities in this huge indoor venue. You must be 21 to attend and there is a $5 cover charge.

CORNHOLE CHAMP: 4City Cornhole will be sponsoring Cornhole Tournaments both Saturday and Sunday in the parking lot adjacent to the MetroLink Bus station. Saturday is adult tournaments and Sunday is for kids, both starting at noon.

READY TO RACE?: On both days, 61 Kartway, the local kart track in Delmar, Iowa, will have a booth on 18th Street where you can see racing karts up close, get your questions answered about kart racing and learn about how both adults and kids can get involved in kart racing locally.

MOTORSPORTS CAREERS: Also both Saturday and Sunday, the Bradley University Society of Automotive Engineers will have their 3 race cars on display in front of WHBF-TV on 18th Street and will be happy to talk about their program and careers in motorsports for men and women.

CAR SHOW: On Sunday the Quad City Camaro Club and the Quad City Tesla Club will have their cars on display on 18th Street north of the race track. Whether you’re a muscle car fan or would like to know more about owning an electric vehicle, you will find talking with the car owners an interesting distraction from the races. They will also appear on the track during Opening Ceremonies.

ON WITH THE SHOW:  Opening ceremonies at about 10:30 am Sunday will also feature routines by the Pink Dynamic Dolls dance group, Radar the Quad City Storm mascot as well as other attractions. The Viet Nam Veterans honor guard will lead the Parade of Champions, and the National Anthem will be sung by Jill King.

For more information on this year’s Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix, visit racerockisland.info or Facebook or Instagram pages.

Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix 2021 race weekend schedule


7 p.m: Opening concert at Schwiebert Riverfront Park, sponsored by Rock Island Parks and Rec Department, featuring Phyllis and The Sharks. Part of the Thursday night Groove Concert Series.


2-9 p.m.: Competitor sign-in at Holiday Inn, Rock Island.

8-5 p.m.: All teams arriving before 5 p.m. should stage at the parking lot at Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, Rock Island. From there follow directions for pitting.

Noon-5 p.m.: Xtream Rock Island Grand Prix Cornhole Tournament for race teams at Jumer’s Casino parking lot. 12-1 p.m signup; 1:30 start $40 entry fee. Hosted by 4 City Cornhole.

5 p.m.: Streets close in The District of Rock Island.

5 p.m. to next morning: Track construction

6-11 p.m.: Pits open.

6 p.m.: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre, “Saturday Night Fever.” Dinner 6 p.m., Pre-Show 7:15; Show 7:45 p.m. $56.55 per person

8:30 p.m.: Rozz Tox, 2108 3rd Ave., German film screening in the garden, “Kinograrten: Ali, Fear Eats The Soul” Free, outdoor.


7 a.m.: Pits open.

6:30-8 a.m.: Driver sign-in at Holiday Inn, Rock Island.

7 a.m.: Mandatory Driver’s Meeting in front of the Argus Building, 1724 Fourth Ave., by the Pre-Grid.

8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Practice rounds. Six-minute sessions.

10 a.m.: Grand Prix Marketplace vendors open. QC Storm Shoot The Puck and Bradley SAE race team both days.

Noon: Bring a Partner Bags Tournament, 12-1 p.m sign up; 1:30 p.m. start.  Parking Lot C near the Bus Station. Hosted by 4 City Cornhole

1:15-5 p.m.: Heat races.

5 p.m.: Track closes at conclusion of racing.

6 p.m.: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre, “Saturday Night Fever.” Dinner 6 p.m., Pre-Show 7:15; Show 7:45 p.m. $56.55 per person

8 p.m.: Official Grand Prix End of Summer Blowout Party at Billy Bob’s Redneck Party Bar, 1722 Second Avenue. $5 cover charge featuring Scott DuBose and the 101 Ranch and house DJ Shane Brown.

8 p.m.: Rozz Tox, 2108 3rd Ave. All vinyl DJ set, Fresh Wax: Garden of Earthly Delights, with Ryan Simpson spinning psych rock & psych folk. Free, outdoor.


8 a.m.: Final practice rounds begins.

10 a.m.: Camaro and Tesla Clubs Car Show begins; Grand Prix Marketplace vendors open featuring QC Storm Shoot The Puck, Bradley SAE race team, 61 Kartway and Briggs & Stratton Racing.

10:30 a.m.: Opening Ceremonies.

11 a.m.: Kid’s Autograph Session. Start/Finish line. Featuring QC Storm mascot.

11:15 a.m.: Racing begins.

Noon: Kids’ Blind Draw Bags Tournament, 12-1 p.m sign up; 1:30 p.m. start.  Parking Lot C near the Bus Station. Hosted by 4City Cornhole.

1:15-5 p.m.: Heat races.

2-6 p.m.: Laborspace Labor Day Weekend outdoor concert with Rozz Tox at Laborspace, 311 21st Street. Featuring Subatlantic, Centaur Noir, Tambourine. Free. Food and drink available.

5 p.m.: Racing ends.

6 p.m.: Track deconstruction begins

6 p.m.: Circa 21 Dinner Theatre, “Saturday Night Fever.” Dinner 6 p.m., Pre-Show 7:15; Show 7:45 p.m. $56.55 per person

7 p.m.: Awards Ceremony, Holiday Inn, Rock Island


9:30 a.m.: Annual Rock Island Labor Day Parade. 18th Avenue and 24th Street.

Note:  All times tentative and subject to change.

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